Beautiful Budapest – two cities in one

Back from my first visit to the Hungarian capital Budapest I found myself with a wealth of memories. From chaotic ruin bars to elegant squares, historic castles to modern art galleries – Budapest is a complex mix of styles and atmospheres.

This is a multi-layered city which could take years to discover in depth. But with only a few days and armed with the latest version of

, I did my best to sample some of the city’s attractions.

The guide usefully addresses the city neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Most visitors, like me, start their visit in the popular Belvaros inner city area, with its shops, cafes and promenades. Here we also find insights into Hungary’s rich history by exploring down the embankment of The Danube. The Rough guide not only gives interesting information on main sites such as the Cathedral of the Dominion Greek Orthodox church but also directs us to quirkier finds such as the Underground Railway Museum.

Above: Me sampling the local drink Palinka

Close by are the Erzebetvaros and Jozsefvaros districts where I enjoyed stroll around the Jewish Quarter. The Great Synagogue is a good starting point and this area also gave me my fist introduction to ruin bars – built in abandoned buildings these colourful and lively bars are a Budapest must-do.

Away from the central attractions, Budapest is diverse. Until 1873 Buda on the hilly west bank and Pest on the east were two different cities and they still retain distinct personalities; Buda older and classy with its Castle Hill (Var) and Pest with its bustling atmosphere and fascinating Art Nouveau architecture. Don’t miss the thermal baths – of which there are over 100. And when you get hungry there is no shortage of good cafes and restaurants. Hungarian food is hearty and delicious and The Rough Guide does a good job of providing comprehensive listings to suit all palettes.

The Rough Guide to Budapest, 7th edition. Published January 2018.

Follow this link to buy the book: https://amzn.to/2toAuJD

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